Celebrating this year’s most inspiring Albertans – the Western Legacy Award finalists and winners!

They come from all different walks of life, each with unique and inspiring gifts to share.

It’s these diverse and inspirational individuals who make our community vibrant and a better place through their commitment and passion to making a difference. Members from the community, Stampede volunteers, employees and Stampede board members came together at BMO Centre to honour them at the prestigious 2017 Western Legacy Awards.

“Community is at the core of everything we do and these individuals and groups have shown what true and inspiring leaders they are through the generous contributions they make,” said David Sibbald, president & chairman of the board of the Calgary Stampede.

The Western Legacy Awards were created to honour outstanding individuals for their work in their communities and the ways they preserve western heritage with awards given in four categories.

The evening was hosted by Global’s Linda Olsen and included cocktails, dinner, remarks from the Stampede, an award ceremony and live entertainment.

“On behalf of the Stampede family, volunteers and employees, congratulations to all of the finalists. We are honoured to
recognize you,” said Sibbald.

How are individuals chosen?

  1. Individuals are nominated by their peers.
  2. The Western Legacy Awards committee reviews each nomination carefully and selects the top five nominees in each category.
  3. The selections are then sent to an independent panel of adjudicators who rank the nominations and select the top three individuals in each category.
  4. Finalists are then contacted and asked to participate in an interview
  5. Final scoring and decisions are made.

The awards are made possible through the hard work and dedication of the Western Legacy Awards committee, as well as the dedicated panel of adjudicators, who spend countless hours reviewing and selecting these outstanding individuals.

2017 Western Legacy Awards winners and finalists

Youth – awarded to a youth, 18 years and under, who has demonstrated a commitment to making a different and exhibited western values.

Winner: Stephen McPhee

Stephen McPhee is a role model for volunteerism. At a young age, he was inspired to help homeless children by filling backpacks for them. Stephen’s Backpacks has helped more than 45,000 children across Alberta. Stephen raises funds, awareness and support for homeless and vulnerable youth. Through his fundraising, ‘Footprints’ has provided more than 15,000 pairs of running shoes for children. Stephen inspires others of all ages to give back to the community and is determined to be a voice for those less fortunate.

Finalists:

  • Lindsay Cummings
  • Eric Mei

Innovation – Awarded to an individual or group who has created a single visionary project that reflects western values

Winner: Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd is dedicated to promoting awareness for testicular cancer. He is the president of a local testicular cancer charity, Oneball, and works tirelessly to increase education, research funding and patient assistance. Christopher also supports school chapters at the local universities through Oneball. He has been instrumental in fundraising for Oneball through volunteer events and is a passionate advocate for those struggling with this type of cancer. Christopher is an inspirational leader always striving to do the right thing.

Finalists:

  • Mealshare
  • Palix Foundation

Sustained Contribution – individual – Awarded to an individual who has exhibited extraordinary community support over time.

Winner: Peter Spear

Peter Spear’s passion for the outdoors has led him to volunteer in five Provincial parks and recreation areas for more than 25 years. His involvement with trail maintenance and stewardship at Brown-Lowery Provincial Park in Priddis, AB has inspired a group of more than 300 family, friends and colleagues to help maintain these trails for the benefit of the community and visitors. Peter is motivated by his own family history as immigrants to Canada to build community and by his love of the outdoors to share with others through the Everyone Belongs Outside initiative to make parks more accessible and user friendly.

Finalists:

  • Joyce Pallister-Bronsch
  • John Scott

Sustained Contribution – Group – awarded to an organization or group that has exhibited extraordinary community support over time.

Winner: Kerby Centre – Luanne Whitmarsh

Kerby Centre is a not-for-profit organization, committed to enhancing the lives of older adults. Kerby Centre is a multi-service seniors centre established in 1973 to ensure that older adults are able to live as well as possible, for as long as possible, as residents in their community. Programs focus on the mental, physical, social and educational needs of the older adult and help to improve their quality of life. The mandate of Kerby Centre is to welcome anyone coming through the doors and be non-discriminating.

Finalists:

  • Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre
  • Discovery House

About the Western Legacy Awards
The Western Legacy Awards (WLA) were established in 2005 to honour individuals and organizations for building a better community. The annual awards recognize visionaries who exemplify the Calgary Stampede’s values of commitment to community, pride of place, integrity and western hospitality and reflect our organizations’ purpose to preserve and promote western heritage and values.

The Legacy Wall, installed in 2013, commemorates those honoured with a Western Legacy Award. Located on the south side of the BMO Centre, the wall serves as a reminder of the individuals and organizations values and contributions that have and continue to make our community great.